The First of December - A Day to Remember
This is a poem I wrote the first December after my mother died in June. The feelings I had were still very raw and painful and the poem will reflect that but of course now I am quite healed, as one can get of losing a mother, that is.
“My mom smiled at me. Her smile kind of hugged me.”
― R.J. Palacio, Wonder
Gone But Not Forgotten
At that time I was very upset because I had failed my mother, I thought. I fought hospitals and nursing homes as my mother was healed of a quite serious condition to only be slowly murdered by the medical institutions who took her over for rehabilitation. I had taken her out of a nursing home previously after knee surgery and she was sent to one for rehabilitation but they never would start her on the therapy. When I complained, someone not qualified, hurt her knee making her use it and Mom begged me to not say anything more.
She naturally felt a prisoner and was afraid. I took her out and brought her home with her sworn promise to do her exercises and she did. She was so happy to be home with me and it was just the two of us going on with a plan for our life. For weeks every time Mom saw me she would be up on her toes strengthening those legs. Like saying please don't send me back.
It was a few years later I found out she had been to the ER of the local hospital while she was in that nursing home with chest pain and neither that hospital nor the nursing home notified me of it, ever, her medical and financial POA.
What Might Have Been
We got about another year together until she fell, leaving a blood clot on her brain caused by the blood thinner she was on. It was touch and go for days that felt like weeks and now she must go to another nursing home for rehab and this time she was bed bound and I could not bring her home. I would just have to watch over her. We had hardly gotten her settled in than they wanted to put a feeding tube in. She had had one at the hospital because she had for the most part been tied down and fighting one seizure type something after another from not being on blood thinners and her veins were so non-existent they had to go through a main artery for all her medications anyway.
I said no and I was there every day to make sure she ate and I am pretty sure when I wasn't that she didn't eat but that was rare. I could not let a day go by and not go see her but neither could I be there for every meal. The feeding tube was solely to keep anyone from having to do that job, I knew. Mom still loved food and always begged for chocolate pudding and never got it unless I brought it to her.
How many times I would show up and if there as any it was vanilla or anything else. I wondered if there was a chocolate pudding shortage or what? She was so thin and pitiful (under 100 pounds), did they have no feelings for anyone?
The Nightmare Grew Worse
They never gave her therapy although they claimed it was always when I wasn't there. I made them stand her up and walk her one day. I could see it was too late and she would never walk again. Although they held all her weight and had her move her feet trying to convince me she was walking. Her feet were twisted and frozen.
A couple of more incidents I haven't the heart to go into made me decide I would bring her home no matter what. They sent her home with pneumonia.
To make a miserable long story short this was not my mom's last nursing home and her treatment gets worse and worse. She suffered miserably for two years before succumbing to the neglect and abuse. Of course there is no law against it. It is what they do, to many. I hear now they are much better (in the last few years?) but I think I would keep a very sharp eye on anyone in one of those places. It is really hospitals too, covering for these nursing homes and it is all about money. I will never trust them. I witnessed too much for too long.
This poem though was for Mom soon after she passed away and me knowing she was calling my name every minute as she had begun to do on about the third nursing home.
For the many here I have talked with I know this poem speaks to your hearts too for the love of your mothers whether they have passed yet or not. That love is always the same. It never dims.
Have you experienced anything like this with either of your parents?
The First of December - A Poem
All my life that I can remember this was a most special day
In honor and love for you I never would even put up a tree
Do any decoration for my house or outside for Christmas
Because this was your day and it would always and forever be
I would look long and hard for a present that took thought
Showing it really meant something special from me to you
Not just something I randomly would choose in passing
As many people as a duty, not really giving thought would do
As a child I would make something, too young to have money
As I got older I could have time to plan and save what I could
I had more joy in the giving I think I realized after some years
Than you did in what I would come up for you that was so good
Out of all the ones who should have cared for you as much as me
I was the only one who would never once forget to remember
This was your day out of all the other days of the entire year
This was the very most special day, the very first one of December
My life is not so unlike yours wanting only good for those I love
I fight for happiness as you did but you were born with that gift
To sing and whistle, in spite of life’s troubles brought your way
To grab that star and the sunshine to give you that needed lift
I will never have your spirit or knack to make it through smiling
When all that can go wrong usually does in every single way
That despite the love you handed out to so many for years
Not one of them had the appreciation of you or the love to repay
You expected little or nothing from anyone having learned
Not to expect little or nothing from anyone in any way
I saw that side of you, so you were protected from the pain
Just know that with the tears pouring down I can truly say
I now know your pain and your reasons to block life out
Going into a world of your own to lose yourself at the end
Where even the pain in your own body was never yours
You moved out and left it for the demons who came in
They could not hurt you anymore, no never in this life again
I can see so much I never saw before how you shut off the pain
You left your shell of misery rather than watch who claimed love
To cause your heart, your soul and body you lived in, to go insane
Before I lose all sense of things of the now, and also of the morrow
Just let me once more in this life, before I forget to remember
To know, as long as my mind has an ounce of power to say to you
I will always, as long as I live and breathe, not forget the first of December
Happy Birthday Mommy
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© 2017 Jackie Lynnley